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oneworld extends its international lead with addition of new African affiliate

oneworld™ has extended its lead as the most international global airline alliance with the addition of its 31st member.

Kenyan-based Regional Air is to join the "alliance that revolves around you" as an affiliate member following its franchising agreement with oneworld founder member British Airways, announced yesterday and effective from July 1.

From then, flights by Regional Air, which is the jet operation of Airkenya Aviation, will operate with a British Airways flight code in British Airways' colours with a British Airways style service.

It will offer two-class Boeing 737-300 connections between Nairobi and Asmara, in Eritrea; Djibouti, Djibouti; Harare, Zimbabwe; Khartoum, Sudan; Lusaka, Zambia, and Mombasa, Kenya.

Four of these destinations - Asmara, Djibouti, Khartoum and Mombasa - are new to the oneworld global network. Three of the countries served by Regional Air are also new to oneworld - Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan.

This takes the number of countries served worldwide by oneworld carriers - Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LanChile, Qantas and their affiliates - to 135, and the total destinations to 565.

Regional Air becomes the third oneworld affiliate in Africa, with South Africa's Comair and Zambian Air Services (ZAS) already part of the alliance through their established British Airways franchise agreements.

Michael Jackson, British Airways' Head of Alliances and Franchises, said: "We welcome Regional Air to the British Airways family as the 11th franchise, and to oneworld. The new deal will allow us to grow our already extensive African network and builds on the success of the franchise agreements in Southern Africa."

Charles Goodrich, Regional Air's Chief Executive Officer, added: "This is great news for customers wishing to travel across Africa and it is great news for Regional Air. We are delighted to be part of the British Airways and oneworld family. Its strong brand and global reputation will be a real bonus to Regional Air and it will provide customers access to a worldwide network in countries not served previously."

Regional Air was created in May 2000 and is the sister company of Airkenya Aviation, a privately owned airline formed in 1985 and providing a network of domestic scheduled services throughout Kenya.

Regional Air currently employs 100 members of staff. The Boeing 737-300 operating the Regional Air/British Airways flights will be a two-class configuration with 24 Club seats (business class) and 76 Traveller seats (economy class).

For further information, contact:
Aer Lingus Media and Public Relations +353 1 886 2573
American Airlines Corporate Communications +1 817 967 1577
British Airways Press Office +44 181 738 5100
Cathay Pacific Corporate Communications +852 2747 5211
Finnair Corporate Communications +358 981 84970
Iberia Communications +34 91 587 7462
LanChile Communications +562 565 2856
Qantas Public Affairs +61 2 9691 3468

oneworld logos and other material are available in the Press Gallery

Further background on each of the carriers are available on their web sites:
www.aerlingus.ie
www.aa.com
www.britishairways.com
www.cathaypacific.com
www.finnair.com
www.iberia.es
www.lanchile.com
www.qantas.com.au